Analysis: Iran, Palestinian talks, Netanyahu ties to dominate Obama trip to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
(Analysis) March 11, 2013 - 12:00am


Three goals will dominate President Barack Obama’s coming visit to Israel, his first as president: Convincing Israel and its leadership he means what he says about stopping Iran from building a nuclear weapon, mending a deeply troubled relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, in return, enticing Israel back to negotiations with the Palestinians.


Challenges lie ahead for Netanyahu govt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) March 11, 2013 - 12:00am


Barring a last minute surprise, Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to form a working governmental coalition this week. His ability to form his third government is a slam-dunk after Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid Party, relinquished his demand to assume the portfolio of foreign affairs. Lapid’s desire to be a foreign minister was the stumbling block in the path of forming a government with Bennett.


Israel releases tentative Obama schedule
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 11, 2013 - 12:00am


Israel released a tentative itinerary for President Obama's visit to Israel and the West Bank. The March 20-22 visit, according to the schedule released Monday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, will include visits to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, as well as visits to the graves in Jerusalem of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister assassinated in 1995 by a Jewish extremist.


Hamas’s Desengaño With Morsi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) March 11, 2013 - 12:00am


English has by far the largest vocabulary of any language, but there are still times when we have to look beyond its confines to convey a particular meaning. There is a Spanish word, desengaño, which connotes a combination of disappointment, disenchantment, disillusionment and despair, for which we have no precise English equivalent. And this, surely, best sums up the current attitude of the Hamas rulers in Gaza towards Egypt's new government.


Is Obama Bringing a Peace Plan?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - March 11, 2013 - 12:00am


Over and over, American officials insist that President Obama has no new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan hidden in his pocket, ready to be whipped out during next week’s meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. But Palestinians hope and Israelis fear that he will try to restart a peace process that has been moribund for the past four years.


Obama's new approach to Mideast peace: Israel and Palestinians must lead, not the U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Opinion) March 10, 2013 - 1:00am


For the past month the White House has been lowering expectations regarding U.S. President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah.


Palestinians deserve justice, not apathy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) March 10, 2013 - 1:00am


John Kerry, the former presidential candidate and the veteran chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has just returned from his first trip to Europe and the Middle East as secretary of state. At the press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Kerry gave the impression that the Middle East did not figure prominently in his discussion with Hague. In his opening statement Hague said: “Top of our agenda was the Middle East, including the importance we both attach to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…”


An Ode to Joy: President Obama has no peace plan!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Opinion) March 10, 2013 - 1:00am


The news that President Obama has no intention of presenting a new peace plan on his upcoming visit to Israel was greeted by a collective sigh of relief that was so pronounced that it sounded like a giant roar of approval. Hallelujah, Israel is saved. Just in time for Passover, as usual.


The Region: Obama: Bad president, good for Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Barry Rubin - (Opinion) March 10, 2013 - 1:00am


I have just returned from briefing a high-ranking official of country X on the Middle East. We kept coming back to a vital theme: the incredibly shrinking power of the United States. Try to explain American behavior to neutral, open-minded third parties for whom US policy activities have become just plain bizarre! I have just published an article about how terrorists, including the murderers of four American officials in Benghazi, are literally laughing at the United States and its inability (or unwillingness) to do anything effective to defend its interests.


Official: Egypt never asked Hamas to quit armed struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 8, 2013 - 1:00am


Egypt has not asked Hamas to abandon its armed struggle against Israel, a spokesman for the party said Thursday. "Hamas will not leave the armed struggle, and will not respond to this fabricated news," Salah al-Bardawil told Ma'an. Israel's Ynet news reported Thursday that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood leadership had asked Hamas to "implement jihad in other ways" in order to gain international legitimacy.



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